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Q&A #174

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Math anxiety

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From: Ginny

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2000073014:59:14
Subject: Helpful tip for parents/students

When working with students as a teacher or tutor, I recommend that the students/parents make themselves practice tests using homework problems from the chapter they have been studying (and problems which they know the correct answers to, usually odd problems in most math texts). I then tell them to set a timer for the amount of time they would have for the test and take their practice test. Then, check results. Any problems they miss, they should rework to find their mistakes. This process should be repeated several times before the actual test. Another problem that many students have is that they do not understand directions. Students should read the directions for types of problems and then describe the process that they would use to solve that problem. Verbalizing the process commits it more to memory than just doing them. Have them practice problems using a dry erase board. Math anxiety has a root cause of lack of confidence. Another cause is pressure. When I was in college, I finally took the pressure off of myself by saying, "I know I have studied and I will do the best I can on this test. If I get I bad grade, I will accept it and move on. It is not the end of the world." Once I started following this philosophy, my grades improved and my anxiety decreased. Hope this helps!

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